Sunday, January 31, 2010

US Patent 7652280 - Nanowire OLED

This patent from General Electric teaches manufacturing techniques incorporating semiconductor nanowires into transparent OLEDs.

1. A device, comprising:

a light transmissive element;

a nano-wire light-emitting device; and

a light transmissive controller communicating with the nano-wire light-emitting device;

wherein the nano-wire light-emitting device and the light transmissive controller are supported by the light transmissive element.


US Patent 7652098 - GHz circuit board made frm CNT resin

High frequency electronic circuitry requires low dielectric material to minimize signal attenuation. This patent teaches a circuit board formed from carbon nanotube composite material providing the required low signal loss. Claim 1 reads:

1. A resin composition for GHz-band electronic components, the composition comprising

nanoscale carbon tubes and

at least one resin selected from the group consisting of thermoplastic resins, curable resins, and composite resins of thermoplastic resins and curable resins,

wherein the nanoscale carbon tubes are present in an amount of 0.0001 to 0.4 wt. % based on the resin,

wherein the nanoscale carbon tubes are: (ii) amorphous nanoscale carbon tubes; (iii) nanoflake carbon tubes; (iv) iron-carbon composites each composed of (a) a carbon tube selected from the group consisting of nanoflake carbon tubes and nested multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and (b) iron carbide or iron,

wherein the iron carbide or iron (b) fills 10 to 90% of the internal space of the carbon tube (a); or (v) a mixture of at least two of (ii) to (iv).


US Patent 7652084 - CNT-polyolefin fiber composite

This patent from the State University of New York teaches a way to increase the compatibility between carbon nanotubes and polyolefins to enhance the electrical and mechanical properties of polymer fibers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanocomposite comprising:

about 70 wt % to about 99.99 wt % of at least one polyolefin; and

about 0.01 wt % to about 30 wt % of at least one modified carbon nanotube,

wherein the modified carbon nanotube has been functionalized with at least one modifier comprising an alkene.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

US Patent 7651944 - Nanowire electronics

This patent from Nanosys has priority going back to 2002 and includes some basic claims to the use of semiconductor nanowires in the fabrication of electronics, displays, and sensors.
Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of making a nanowire based device, comprising:

depositing a plurality of nanowires on at least a first region of a surface of a substrate; and

forming at least first and second electrical contacts on the first region of the surface of the substrate such that at least a first nanowire of the plurality of nanowires is positioned in contact with both the first and second electrical contacts,

wherein the plurality of nanowires are made from a material selected from the group comprising Si, Ge, Sn, Se, Te, P, Si—C, Si—Ge, Si—Sn, Ge—Sn, SiC, AlN/AlP/AlAs/AlSb, GaN/GaP/GaAs/GaSb, InN/InP/InAs/InSb, AlN/AlP/AlAs/AlSb, GaN/GaP/GaAs/GaSb, InN/InP/InAs/InSb, ZnO/ZnS/ZnSe/ZnTe, CdS/CdSe/CdTe, HgS/HgSe/HgTe, BeS/BeSe/BeTe/MgS/MgSe, GeS, GeSe, GeTe, SnS, SnSe, SnTe, PbO, PbS, PbSe, PbTe, CuF, CuCl, CuBr, CuI, AgF, AgCl, AgBr, AgI, BeSiN2, CaCN2, ZnGeP2, CdSnAs2, ZnSnSb2, CuGeP3, CuSi2P3, (Cu, Ag)(Al, Ga, In, Tl, Fe)(S, Se, Te)2, Si3N4, Ge3N4, Al2O3, (Al, Ga, In)2(S, Se, Te)3, or Al2CO or alloys thereof,

wherein the first and second electrical contacts are separated from each other on the first surface of the substrate by a distance that is less than 50% of an average length of the plurality of nanowires.


US Patent 7651926 - Electrostatic patterning of nanostructures

This patent from M.I.T. teaches a form of nanolithography in which electrostatic patterns are used to attract oppositely charged nanostructures allowing more complex structures to be formed then that which rely on self-assembly. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a structure, comprising the steps of:

forming a charge pattern on a substrate, the charge pattern having a first type of charge; and
using an electrospray apparatus, introducing a plurality of nanoscale or molecular size scale building blocks to a region proximate the charge pattern, the building blocks having a second type of charge and adhering to the charge pattern to form the structure.


US Patent 7651770 - Drug delivery nanoclusters

Nanoparticles have been shown to improve the dissolution and transport of therapeutic drugs. This patent from the University of Kansas teaches forming nanoclusters from solid nanoparticles to improve the accessibility of cellular targets. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nano-cluster comprising a plurality of nano-particles, wherein the nano-particles include an active ingredient and a polymer, and wherein the nano-cluster is not hollow.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

US Patent 7651769 - Nanofiber velcro

This patent from Nanosys teaches nanofiber surfaces having an adhesive property which is suggested to be applied to tissue surfaces or arteries for medical applications. Claim 1 reads:

1. A hemostat including

a substrate having at least a first surface and a first plurality of inorganic nanofibers comprising silicon or silicon oxide deposited on the first surface,

wherein the plurality of nanofibers have a curved or curled configuration for contacting with a second surface at two or more contact points on each of said nanofibers,

wherein the contacting adheres the first surface to the second surface substantially by van der Waals forces between the nanofibers and the second surface.


US Patent 7651766 - CNT reinforced copper nanocomposite

This patent from the University of Central Florida teaches manufacturing copper composites with enhanced electrical conductivity using carbon nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanotube reinforced metal nanocomposite material, comprising:

a continuous metal phase comprising copper, and

a plurality of carbon nanotubes uniformly covered by and interfacially bonded to said continuous metal phase,

wherein said continuous metal phase extends throughout substantially an entire volume of said nanocomposite material, and

further wherein said nanocomposite material provides a 25° C. bulk electrical conductivity that is at least 20% greater than a 25° C. bulk electrical conductivity of said metal.


US Patent 7651673 - Microtube pumping

This patent from the U.S. Dept. of Energy teaches a way to use laser pulses or ultrasonic wave to induce surface waves on microtubes or nanotubes and pump fluid. The technique is suggested to be useful to applications in drug delivery and hydrogen storage for fuel cells. Claim 9 reads:

9. A method for micro-pumping, comprising the following steps:

providing one or more microtubes, each tube having a first end and a second end;

imbibing the one or more microtubes with a media; and

creating surface waves on the one or more microtubes,

wherein the one or more microtubes has a defined length L, the surface wave has a defined frequency λ and wherein the ratio between L/λ is between about 2 and 32.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

US Patent 7650049 - Quantum box waveguide modulator

This patent is from the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique and teaches using photonic crystals to modulate the absorption and velocity of optical waves. Claim 1 reads:

1. A modulator comprising:

a waveguide including periodic holes and propagating an electromagnetic wave of given wavelength (λ) with absorption, and further comprising

means adapted to vary an electrical charge population in quantum boxes included in the waveguide so as to modify the residence time of the electromagnetic wave in the waveguide.


US Patent 7649594 - Quantum dot photoluminescent LCD

In order to improve the color balance and pixel-to-pixel luminance of backlight LCDs this patent from Samsung teaches incorporating quantum dots in the illumination layer. Claim 1 reads:

1. A photo-luminescent liquid crystal display (PC LCD) comprising:

a UV backlight unit generating ultraviolet (UV) light;

a light control unit which includes a liquid crystal (LC) layer modulating the UV light and electrodes driving the LC layer; and

a light emitting layer which emits light by the UV light transmitted through the light control unit, the light emitting layer includes inorganic phosphors and semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) having a quantum confinement effect.


US Patent 7649192 - Nanowire array LED grown in silicon microcavities

Semiconductor nanowire LEDs offers improvements in photoconversion efficiency over present LEDs but fabrication methods are limited in control of the placement of the nanowires on a substrate. This patent from Samsung teaches using microgrooves formed in a silicon wafer to control the growth location of nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nano wire structure comprising:

a silicon substrate having a surface where microgrooves having a plurality of microcavities are formed itself;

nano wires formed on the substrate from each of the microgrooves; and

a metal catalyst formed on one end of each of the nano wires.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

US Patent 7648765 - Carbon nanoparticle dispersion

Nanodiamonds have a high refractive index and transparency making them useful for optical applications and also possess a high hardness making them useful for mechanical polishing. This patent from Futaba Corporation teaches a way to create a dispersion of nanodiamonds in an organic solvent. Claim 1 reads:

1. A dispersion of carbon nanoparticles, prepared by monodispersing carbon nanoparticles in water droplets of a reverse micelle solution in which the water droplets are coated with amphiphilic molecules and dispersed in an organic solvent, wherein a monodispersion function material is added to the reverse micelle solution, and the monodispersion function material is an electrolyte.


US Patent 7648726 - Nanoparticle coated dental implant

This patent from Chemat Technology teaches a calcium based nanoparticle coating to improve bond strength and biocompatibility for medical and dental implants. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method comprising:

chemically charging a surface of a medical or dental implant; and

contacting the implant with a colloid comprising crystalline hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on the implant.


US Patent 7647848 - Simultaneous inspection and nanomanipulation

This patent is from Drexel University's Cell and Protein Mechanics Lab and teaches a system that integrated an atomic force microscope with a nanomanipulation tool to simultaneously image and strain biological samples. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for simultaneous inspection and manipulation of a sample, said device comprising:

a base unit;

a sample holder mounted on said base unit;

an inspection device operatively associated with said base unit for inspecting a sample on said sample holder; and

at least one nano-manipulator mounted in an operative position on said base unit to permit manipulation of the sample on said sample holder to deform said sample by exerting a force on said sample using said at least one nano-manipulator;

wherein said at least one nano-manipulator is mounted such that manipulation of the sample does not prevent operative inspection of said sample by said inspection device during or after manipulation of the sample.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

US Patent 7645397 - Luminescent nanocrystal doped composites

This patent is from Nanosys and teaches the fabrication of nanocrystal composites to achieve high efficiency white light LEDs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A luminescent nanocomposite, comprising:

a population of luminescent nanocrystals, which nanocrystals are embedded in an epoxy, polyurea, or polyurethane matrix, and which nanocrystals substantially retain their luminescence when embedded in the matrix,

wherein a ligand is bound to a surface of a member nanocrystal, which ligand

a) comprises a dicarboxylic acid moiety that binds to the surface of the member nanocrystal or

b) is an aliphatic or polymeric amine comprising an amine moiety that binds to the surface of the member nanocrystal.


US Patent 7645327 - Fractal structured nanofilter

This patent is from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and teaches a way to use nanoparticles to create an improved high-efficiency particulate air filter. Claim 1 reads:

1. A filter system comprising:

a filter media that includes agglomerates or granules of nanoparticles in an amount sufficient to effect a desired level of filtration, wherein the agglomerates or granules of nanoparticles define a hierarchical fractal structure such that a plurality of agglomerates or granules of nanoparticles are bonded together to form at least one higher order agglomerate or granule.


US Patent 7644622 - MEMS pressure sensor with nanotube membrane

This patent from Hon Hai Precision exploits the piezoresistive characteristics of carbon nanotube membranes in a MEMS sensor. Claim 1 reads:

1. A micro-electro-mechanical pressure sensor comprising:

a substrate having an acoustic cavity;

a dielectric isolation layer formed on the substrate, the dielectric isolation layer having a through hole corresponding to the acoustic cavity;

at least two electrodes formed on the dielectric isolation layer; and

a vibrating membrane formed on the dielectric isolation layer and covering the through hole, the vibrating membrane comprising at least one carbon nanotube structure, the at least one carbon nanotube structure, respectively, being electrically connected with the at least two electrodes.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Memristor and Memristive Systems Symposium 2010

Engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and students (both graduate and undergraduate) are invited to attend this symposium, held in conjunction with IEEE CNNA 2010 — the International Workshop on Cellular Nanoscale Networks and Applications, Feb. 3-5.

The 2010 symposium will cover:

Memristor technology updates
New device technologies (materials and fabrication)
Device models for CAD
Novel circuits using memristors
Systems architecture harnessing memristor and memristive device properties
A poster session will held as a part of the CNNA 2010 on February 3.

To register please visit
Symposium registration is free.

Memristor History

Memristor, the missing basic circuit element, was first proposed in 1971 in a seminal paper published by Professor Leon O. Chua. The concept gained a broader scope in a paper co-published by Leon Chua and Sung Mo Kang in 1976. In 2008, Stan Williams, et al. at HP Labs unveiled a two-terminal titanium dioxide nanoscale device that exhibited memristor and memristive characteristics, thus igniting renewed interest in memristors.

The first symposium on Memristor and Memristive Systems, held at UC Berkeley on November 21-22, 2008, inspired novel circuit applications and new efforts to develop memristors using various types of materials and nanoparticles, and also novel circuit applications and CAD models.

Co-sponsored by UC Merced, UC Berkeley and HP Labs. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

US Patent 7642540 - Phase change RAM with heat efficiency nanolayer

Phase-change RAM is a potential contender to compete with flash in the non-volatile memory market and offers improvements in switching time. This patent from Samsung teaches using nanomaterials to improve heat conduction and reduce the current necessary for switching and thus reduce power requirements. Claim 1 reads:

1. A phase change random access memory (PRAM) comprising:

a storage node connected to a switching element, the storage node including a first electrode;

a phase change layer;

a heat efficiency improving element formed between the first electrode and the phase change layer; and

a second electrode, wherein the heat efficiency improving element is one of a carbon nanotube (CNT) layer, a nanoparticle layer, and a nanodot layer.


US Patent 7642463 - Silver nanowire transparent conductor

This patent from Honeywell teaches a new type of transparent conductor based on silver nanowire coatings for use in displays and solar cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transparent conductor comprising:

a substrate; and

a transparent conductive coating disposed overlying the substrate,

wherein the transparent conductive coating comprises a plurality of silver nanowires, at least a portion of which has a silver oxide complex formed on or within surfaces thereof.


US Patent 7641885 - Manufacture of CNT film

This patent is from Hon Hai Precision and discloses a method for making an improved tensile strength carbon nanotube film using mechanical compression. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making a carbon nanotube film, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) forming an array of carbon nanotubes on a substrate; and

(b) pressing the array of carbon nanotubes using a compressing apparatus, thereby forming the carbon nanotube film,

wherein in step (b), the compressing apparatus comprises of a roller-shaped pressure head.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

US Patent 7641883 - Viologen CNT separation

This patent from Samsung teaches a new carbon nanotube processing method using viologen to separate semiconducting from metallic nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for separating carbon nanotubes into metallic carbon nanotubes and semiconducting carbon nanotubes, comprising:

forming a solution comprising viologen, carbon nanotubes, water and a non-polar solvent;

performing a phase separation on the solution comprising viologen, carbon nanotubes, water and a non-polar solvent, wherein the water and the non-polar solvent are phase-separated from the solution of carbon nanotubes, viologen, water and non-polar solvent, thereby separating the carbon nanotubes into metallic carbon nanotubes and semiconducting carbon nanotubes.


US Patent 7641882 - Fullerene coated carbon black

This patent is from M.I.T. and teaches a way to chemically bond fullerene to carbon black in order to create improved inkjet inks. Claim 1 reads:

1. Fullerenic structures chemically bonded to a surface of a bulk carbon material wherein the average fullerene concentration on the surface of the bulk carbon material is at least 87 molecules per 1000 nanometers of perimeter.


US Patent 7640936 - Nanoscale catalysts for cigarette CO reduction

This patent is from Philip Morris and teaches metal oxide nanocatalysts for reducing carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke. Claim 1 reads:

1. A component of a smoking article comprising a multiphase mixed metal oxide catalyst consisting of sintered nanoparticles of at least two metal oxides selected from the group consisting of copper oxide, cerium oxide, titanium oxide and iron oxide, wherein the component is selected from the group consisting of tobacco cut filler, cigarette paper and cigarette filter material.


Friday, January 01, 2010

Top Ten Nanotechnology Patents of 2009

Here is a list of the U.S. nanotechnology patents issued over the past year that appear to me to be the most commercially valuable and/or interesting:

#10 - US Patent 7,535,070 - Reconfigurable spin wave computer (University of California)

Reconfigurable computing architectures are becoming more popular in order to combine the flexibility of software with the speed of hardware. This appears to be a basic patent to implementing reconfigurable computing using spintronics.

#9 - US Patent 7,599,895 - Nanoparticle synaptic switch (KnowmTech)

Neuromorphic computing has attracted funding from DARPA's SyNAPSE project in the last year with contracts awarded to IBM, Hewlett Packard, and HRL. This patent appears basic to some of the proposed approaches to physical neural networks which use a plasticity mechanism.

#8 - US Patent 7,494,638 - Purified fullerene (Mitsubishi)

Fullerene is a form of carbon originally discovered in 1985 and which was the prelude to carbon nanotubes. This patent may turn out to be one of the most controversial nanotechnology patents yet issued in that the claims are broadly directed to purified fullerene and may be considered a submarine patent with priority going back to 1990.

#7 - US Patent 7,486,434 - Carbon nanotube optical antenna (Ambit Corp.)

The electromagnetic conversion properties of carbon nanotubes have received increasing research interest in the past few years. Ambit Corporation was an earlier innovator in this area and this patent represents one of of their more basic patents covering applications in optical communications and RF tags.

#6 - US Patent 7,543,638 - Nanoparticle enhanced oil recovery (Schlumberger Technology)

In order to delay the effects of peak oil more efficient oil extraction methods will be required. This patent is basic to a method using nanoparticle catalysts to achieve enhanced oil recovery at relatively low temperature.

#5 - US Patent 7,626,190 - Memristor nanowire transistor (Infineon Technologies AG)

In 2008 Hewlett-Packard announced the development of memristors (memory resistors) as a new type of non-volatile memory called RRAM which appears as a front runner to compete with flash. This patent goes a step further and teaches integrating memristive material with a nanoscale transistor.

#4 - US Patent 7,615,204 - Long nanotube strands (RPI, Tsinghua University)

This patent is based on a collaboration between US and Chinese universities and covers nanotubes having a length greater than 10 cm which may provide a new source for building materials in the 21st century and make projects such as the space elevator a little bit more feasible.

#3 - US Patent 7,569,252 - Dip Pen Nanolithography® (Northwestern University)

For the past decade NanoInk has been developing a fundamentally new lithography technique having applications ranging from the repair of masks used in semiconductor fabrication to the development of nanoscale bioassays. This patent covers the basic process developed by Chad Mirkin back when the technique was developed at Northwestern University.

#2 - US Patent 7,605,328 - CIGS nanoparticle photovoltaics (Nanosolar)

Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) is a material used to manufacture thin film solar cells which are becoming increasingly important as a source of alternative energy. Nanosolar has developed a manufacturing system using nanoparticle precursor material and relatively low temperature process steps which lower cost and increase yield of production.

#1 - US Patent 7,619,257 - Graphene transistor (Alcatel-Lucent)

For over 50 years silicon has been the active material for transistor design. However, nanotechnology typically relies on carbon as the basic material of choice. Graphene is a form of carbon which may eventually displace silicon's dominance by offering higher electron mobility and less susceptibility to noise. This patent includes some basic claims covering epitaxially grown graphene field effect transistors.